Bobby Orr Burgers, Vodka Shots and One Angry Bird From Hell

Bobby Orr Burgers, Vodka Shots and One Angry Bird From Hell

I was in a great mood after a heavy session at the gym and decided to stop for a quick bite at a nearby O'Leary's.

On my way over, one of my athletes who was in town for a few days dropped me a line asking if I had time to have lunch, so I told him to meet me there for a burger and some catching up.

I always stop at this particular joint because it's close and convenient.

I also happen to know the waitress.

Well, I shouldn't say I know her actually.

I know who she is.

And who she is, is a grumpy young woman.

She came over to our table with the same disdain-filled look as usual. I said "hi" and asked her how she was doing. I even flashed her the most captivating smile I could muster. The one that makes the female heart swoon.


I ordered their famous #4 Bobby Orr burger with sides like I always do. While taking my order, she mumbled something to herself. As usual, I wasn't sure whether she was gonna tell the cook to take his sweet time with this one or if she’d spit a loogie between the bun and steak before serving the burger.

Finally after some waiting, the waitress emerged from the kitchen, visibly boiling inside for having to schlepp food to these chumps for ten measly bucks an hour.

My sincere "thank you" was met with an eerie silence on her behalf. She gave me a look that would have turned a lesser man into stone.

"What's wrong with her?" my buddy wondered out loud as soon as she was out of ear shot.

"Your guess is as good as mine", I replied while digging into the Bobby Orr.

"That's one angry bird from hell right there", he concluded before our discussion moved to more important topics. Like how J. Lo's famous butt still looks fantastic after all these years.

After what turned out to be a tasty meal (loogie notwithstanding), I thanked the waitress as politely as I could and told her to have a great day when she stopped by at our table to pick up the plates and cutlery. I'm pretty sure she told me to go fuck myself as I walked out of the door.

Now, you may be thinking:

"But Yunus, doesn't eating fast food give a bad example to your athletes?!"

When you first get bit by the iron bug and learn about performance nutrition/diet/body fuel (did I forget anything?), the common reaction often is to take it to the extreme.

Goodbye, tasty burgers and delish dessert.

Welcome gluten-free this, low-carb that, superfoods, supplement stack, zero alcohol, imported water, the whole shebang...

Even worse, guys turn into Tupperware-toting douchebags lugging their pre-cooked chicken breasts and broccoli everywhere they go with their alarms set to ring every three hours for fear of going catabolic.

(I was one of those OCD doods in college, so I can make fun of their behavior now)

I refuse to let "healthy eating" consume my every waking hour.

So yes, I will indulge myself in pizza or maple syrup pancakes from time to time.

And when I'm out having dinner dressed up to the nines with my chica at a fancy restaurant, damn right we're getting tipsy on that bottle of wine and sharing some sweet chocolate cake for dessert.

This doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind and trying to induce a heart attack by eating junk food and ice cream all day.

Or getting shitfaced every weekend.

What I'm saying is...

Have fun.

Live a little.

Enjoying a burger or a vodka shot - or heaven forbid, a slice of tiramisu - now and then in good company won't inhibit your progress in the gym or on the ice one bit.

If you somehow doubt that statement, go back and re-watch that scene in Pumping Iron where Arnold and co. wolf down three burgers, two omelets and a big steak in one shot after their workout.

And I'll never forget that one time a Conn Smythe Trophy winner recounted what he had ingested at a pool party the previous weekend. Salmon filets, brown rice and spring water, I can assure you, it was not.

Hell, if you want an extreme case, Theo Fleury amassed nearly 900 points during his NHL career while running on coke and liquor induced fumes.

Goes to show you don't need to be 100% compliant with your diet 24/7/365.

For those prone to reading too much into this, I'm obviously not encouraging drug use or hooking up an IV bag with a 50/50 mix of vodka and Red Bull to your arm for a steady stream of booze bliss on Saturday night.

Rather, life's too short to deprive yourself of all "vices" if that means leading a boring, miserable existence due to your OCD behavior regarding food.

Just something to think about.

Moving on to the important stuff:

For a training program proven to turn guys into freaks - despite the occasional fast food binge and jägerbomb jazz - take a look at:


Yunus Barisik

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Yunus Barisik

Yunus Barisik, CSCS, is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for an elite junior hockey organization based in Espoo, Finland. He has trained hundreds of hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.